For hundreds of years, linseed oil is used for the protection and maintenance of interior and exterior wood. It is, without a doubt, one of the most popular finishing oil in the world thanks to its non-toxicity and its environmentally friendly characteristics.
Impregnating the wood to saturation, linseed oil provides a golden hue, which will turn to amber over time. It deeply nourishes wood while providing flexible protection that is waterproof and abrasion-resistant.
Raw linseed oil has a drying time of about three days or more.
Key features of linseed oil:
- non-film forming (as opposed to varnishes)
- Waterproof, elastic and wear-resistant finish
- Satin finish
- Slight smell of grass
- Deep penetration
- Golden to amber
- Affordable and ecological
- Easy to use
- Easy care
- Drying between 12 and 24 hours if polymerised and drying agents are used.
- Enhances the beauty of the grain
- Dried by evaporation and oxidation
- Compatible with most oils
Want to do it yourself? Here is how to go about it:
- Sand the wood with 120 grit sanding paper to ensure good oil penetration.
- For better penetration, mix the first coat with a mild solvent such as citrus solvent or odourless thinner.
- Apply the first coat with a brush, roller or cloth.
- 10 to 15 minutes after application, wipe the surface to remove any excess oil. Failure to complete this step will leave you with a sticky surface.
- 2-3 coats, applied at 12 to 24 hours intervals are necessary for proper protection. Make sure you follow the directions specific to the product you’re using.
- For an ultra-soft touch finish, proceed with a light sanding with a 600 or 800 grit sandpaper, or fine steel wool, at least 24 hours after the last application.
- Maintenance will have to be done about once a year or according to the wear of the finish. Dry looking or discoloured wood is a good indicator that you need to reapply a light coat of oil. Clean the surface with a damp cloth, let dry completely and apply the oil, wiping off all excess oil after 5 minutes at most.
That’s the secret to a beautiful satin finish which, given proper care, will always retain its original appearance.
Important: Getting rid of oil-soaked rags
A cloth soaked in linseed oil may catch fire! To prevent an exothermic reaction, dip the rags in water and the danger is averted.